These days, citizen engagement activities are reaching their peak in our pilot region Võru. On September 23-24th, the Development Centre of Võru County will organise a social hackathon event "Vunki Mano".
The hackathon will tackle 11 thematic issues on the quality of life and participation in rural areas, raised by both citizens and municipality officials. Now, the floor is open for engaging people who would like to contribute to deliberation and co-creation of new solutions around them.
So, what are the hot questions in Estonian countryside, specifically the Võru county?
The image of rural places as marginalized and low-developed areas confuses the immigration of new people, which is badly needed in places with declining populations. How to change it?
The administrative reform that took place 5 years ago merged small municipalities into larger ones. Unfortunately, there has been no substantial growth of communities and identity, and there is no sense of belonging that unites people in the new municipality. How to change it?
There are few recreational opportunities in the rural area. On the one hand, the market for private services is too small, which in turn has not allowed people to develop the habit of spending time entertaining themselves outside the home. How to cultivate people's habit of going out more and meet other people and thereby create new opportunities for (community) entrepreneurship?
Võru county does not have a shared long-term vision of what rural life will be like in 2035. Why should people want to live here in the future? What is our clear advantage, behind which different parties, communities and stakeholders would align and develop together?
How to increase the child-friendliness of the city of Võru. What makes a city child-friendly?
There are lots of valuable ideas and feedback "in the air" among citizens. Some of them reach the municipality through various channels, often informal ones like social medias or while standing in the queue at the grocery store. How to collect, select and use this information in the municipality so that it creates more value and opportunities for cooperation?
Our region has a lot of cultural heritage and attractions. How to link different private, public and community assets and activities into a common value chain to help promote regional tourism?
The current system of school support specialists does not meet today's needs and circumstances, it is rigidly based on one institution. How to reorganize the system of support services for children and youth into a person-centered one?
What should today's food be to ensure a livable environment for our children? How to reduce over-consumption and over-production of food?
How to engage in local democracy and in governance systems young people who has strong relationship with the rural place, but who currently live and study further away? How we can turn this hidden resource into impact at local life?
In the situation of a large shortage of teachers, how to find new solutions through networking the schools in the region in such a way that all children are guaranteed a high-quality education?
In preparation for the hackathon, in August, an inter-regional exchange webinar between the City of Helsinki and Tallinn University on democracy innovation had also taken place.
More info on each of the 11 topics and team registration for the hackathon can be found here: https://vunkimano.ee/
Photo credit: Sven Zacek